Earth Science

Water on Earth

Importance of Oceans

Study Tip
The large amount of biomass in the oceans produces a lot of food through organisms and oxygen through marine plants.

Oceans Moderate Climate

  • The oceans distribute heat evenly around the planet.
  • They absorb heat at the equator and then move it away to more polar regions.
  • The temperatures on our planet range from -70 °C to 55 °C.
  • This range is only 125 °C because the ocean helps to distribute heat around the globe.
Study Tip
The large amount of biomass in the oceans produces a lot of food through organisms and oxygen through marine plants.

Biological Importance

  • The ocean is a major component of the water cycle, as most evaporation occurs in the oceans, and most precipitation lands in them.
  • Marine life makes up the majority of the Earth’s biomass, or the total mass of living organisms in a given area.
Polar Bears
Many marine organisms such as the Polar Bears rely on the ocean as an ecosystem.
Concept Check
  • How do the oceans circulate and regulate heat around the planet?
  • Which processes do the oceans play a large role in?
  • What is biomass? What kinds of things make up biomass?